Latest Rafael Benitez rant sees him call Marco Materazzi a liar ten times, claims it's "obvious" Alex Ferguson influences officials
Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has never been one to shy away from arguments, confrontations and the odd rant. During his latest outburst, the simmering Spaniard labelled his former Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi “a liar” ten times in response to a journalist’s question about the Italian.
Materazzi had stated Benitez is untrustworthy and “weak”, while also claiming he took down pictures of predecessor Jose Mourinho at the club’s training ground. Benitez seemed to pre-empt a mention of the Italian, jumping on the journalist mid-question and calling Materazzi “a liar” on numerous occasions. “In Italy everyone knows Materazzi and everyone at Inter knows him – he’s a liar. He’s lying. He’s lying. He’s lying, just lying. Everything he has said is a lie. What he said about Mourinho is not true. Nobody knew Mourinho was leaving and no-one knew the Inter position would become available. I don’t know about the locker room, so it’s a lie. If you talk about lies, then he is a liar.”
Suitably revved up, Benitez also had words for his old nemesis Sir Alex Ferguson. The Spaniard claimed it was “obvious” the Manchester United manager still puts undue pressure on match officials following Ferguson’s complaints about linesman Simon Beck after their draw at Spurs on Sunday.
Benitez previously attracted notoriety and ridicule with his list of “facts” about Ferguson four years ago. However up to now he has been relatively calm in the face of widespread criticism since joining Chelsea. Many fans have refused to accept the former Liverpool boss after Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s hasty sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, and results in his opening two months at the helm haven’t done much to help – Chelsea have a mountain to climb if they are to reclaim the Premier League title, lost the Club World Cup to Corinthians in December and their League Cup hopes hang by a thread as they travel to Swansea for the semi-final second leg tonight. It'll be interesting to see how Benitez copes with the pressure as the season wears on.